CEO Water Mandate 2nd Working Conference
August 21-22, 2008, World Water Week, Stockholm
Recognizing the urgency with respect to addressing the emerging global water crisis, the UN Secretary-General, in partnership with a number of international business leaders, launched in July 2007 a new initiative – The CEO Water Mandate – under the auspices of the UN Global Compact. The initiative was developed with the understanding that the private sector, through the production of goods and services, impacts water resources – both directly and through supply chains. Endorsing CEOs acknowledge that in order to operate in a more sustainable manner, and contribute to the vision of the UN Global Compact and the realization of the Millennium Development Goals, they have a responsibility to make water-resources management a priority, and to work with governments, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders to address this global water challenge.
After a successful inaugural meeting at UN Headquarters in March 2008, the UN Global Compact Office, in collaboration with the Pacific Institute, convened the CEO Water Mandate’s second working conference on August 21-22, 2008. Held during World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, the conference’s overarching goals were to explore 1) how to understand and address water impacts and risks embedded within companies’ supply chains and 2) how to ensure that the Mandate and its endorsers are transparent with respect to water use and impacts. Like the inaugural meeting, the conference brought together senior representatives from Mandate endorsing companies, UN agencies, civil society groups, and other organizations.
The first day and a half of the two-day meeting was structured as a multi-stakeholder forum in which endorsers and stakeholders shared experiences with regard to water supply chain management and water transparency and exchanged ideas on minimum expectations and ways to advance best practice with regard to the two Mandate elements. The first day focused primarily on water and supply chain issues, with the morning of the second day covering transparency,specifically focusing on the draft Phase One Transparency Framework developed in advance of the meeting.
The afternoon of the second day was an endorser-only meeting that provided a forum to: 1) digest feedback provided during the multi-stakeholder workshop and decide upon whether and how the initiative as a whole should pursue further activities relating to water and supply chain management, 2) reach consensus on how to progress the Mandate’s Transparency Framework and 3) determine next steps on the Mandate’s funding, recruitment efforts, potential partnerships, and future multi-stakeholder working conferences in 2009 and beyond.